Today, 24 January, marks the United Nations International Day of Education. Through our work with trusted local partners, Opportunity International Australia helps empower more young learners through providing school fee loans and education quality programs in Asia.
Education sets a strong foundation for more peaceful, just and sustainable societies. On this International Day of Education, Opportunity has launched the 2024 Back to School appeal, asking supporters to help keep children in school so we can achieve the goal of Quality Education for all.
“In the face of escalating climate change, democratic erosion, persistent inequalities, growing discrimination, hate speech, violence, and conflict on a global scale, education emerges as a powerful tool to both address and prevent these challenges in the future,” according to the UN.
12 million children worldwide have benefited from Opportunity's education programs to date
Most importantly when effectively shaped and implemented, education becomes a long-term investment with increasing returns.
For Supanti and her husband Trianto in Central Java, Indonesia, a school fee loan is enabling their three children to go to school.
Supanti sells fruits and vegetables for a living, while Trianto works as a driver. Their income pays for the family’s daily needs – things like food and household needs. Like many families just making ends meet, the idea of having a large lump sum for school fees to pay at the start of each year seemed near impossible. There was simply not enough money.
“For payments with larger amounts, I often experience difficulties,” said Supanti. “Before [the loan], there were difficulties with the higher amounts of education costs or payments which had a specific time period.”
Supanti's youngest son, Rafa, goes to school in Indonesia with the help of a school loan
The family used the loan from Opportunity’s local partner in Indonesia to pay school fees and buy books. Their eldest son Janggan (14) is in junior high, Tristan (8) is in primary school and Rafa (5) is in kindergarten. With an education, they’ll be walking into brighter futures, filled with hope and opportunity.
“Children must keep learning at school, whatever their parents' economic condition,” said Supanti. “The important thing is that I motivate them to be more successful than their parents. Education is preparing my children's future.”
A school loan has helped with Supanti's children's education costs, annual fees and book costs.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set Quality Education as the 4th goal. One of the most important parts of poverty alleviation is having a quality education to improve a child’s future and stop the cycle of poverty.
According to the United Nations, the percentage of students attaining basic reading skills by the end of primary school is projected to rise from 51 per cent in 2015 to 67 per cent by 2030. However, an estimated 300 million children and young people will still lack basic numeracy and literacy skills by 2030.
You can give children globally a future free from poverty. Donate to Opportunity’s Back to School campaign, and help kids like Janggan, Tristan and Rafa stay in school.